Thursday, March 15, 2012

CD Review: Del Castillo “Infinitas Rapsodias” w/Bonus HD DVD


Infinitas Rapsodias

I always write about music while listening to the CD. I couldn’t do that with this one. It would be like eating McDonalds French Fries while touring The Prado Museum while reading an Archie Comic Book (all apologies to Veronica). No worries. If you have a brain in your head, if you have a heart in your soul, the music will automatically grab you and hold you. Much more than a ‘Latin Rock’ band, they are a musical inoculation. One song and you are guaranteed to never listen to Justin Bieber again.

Taking elements form rock, Latin, Blues, Flamenco and including an opera singer – German Diva,Anna Marie Kaufmann, singing in Italian no less – on the finale, “Amor Venme a Buscar” (Tell That To My Heart), Del Castillo mixes up a sonic soup that is an old family recipe, and man, is it delicious.

Out of Austin, Texas, Del Castillo started out as a family project back in 2000. Dueling guitar virtuosos (selected by Gibson Guitars as only two out of six guitarists in the world to launch Gibson’s new Les Paul line, “Dark Fire”) brothers, Rick and Mark Del Castillo recruited lead singer Alex Ruiz, bassist extraordinaire (you know I plug bassists, right?) Albert Besteiro, Mike Zeoli on the skins and percussionist Jason Murdy. There are some tasty aromas coming out of that rhythm kitchen, I guarantee it.


They are joined by some very special guests; Austin's own Monte Montgomery on guitar, Malford Milligan and Leann Atherton on vocals and violinist/Gypsy fiddlers  Erik Hokkanen and Phoebe Hunt. Producer carl Thiel even plays piano on one tune.

Infinitas Rapsodias features five brand new tunes, as well as new arrangements of fan favorites from previous CDs.These include: “Brotherhood,” “Vida,” “Porque” and “Perdoname.” Demonstrating their global appeal, the band has even included a new take on their popular song, “Maria,” only this time with a vocal in Italian.

Del Castillo “Maria” from the Album, Brotherhood Album of the Year, 2006 at SXSW

The music on this album is stunningly beautiful, rhythmically brilliant and infectious. It includes a HI Def DVD with behind-the-scenes look at the creation of this project. It’s also got a video for the new song, “Canta de Alma” which was shot on tour in Europe in 2011. It also features three studio jam sessions of some of the bands favorite tracks.

Del Castillo has become a symbol of the cross-cultural power of music, with their eclectic blend of Flamenco, Rock, Latin, Blues and World music having made the band into a world-wide favorite of fans all over the globe. Between the release of their first CD, Brothers of the Castle in 2001, and their 2009 self-titled release, Del Castillo, the band received an astonishing 23 awards, including SXSW/Austin Music “Album of the Year” Awards for Vida (2002) and Brotherhood (2006); “Band of the Year” (2003); ASCAP’s “Best Independent Group of the Year” (2005); and Austin Music Pundits “Best Live Act’ (2004).

Del Castillo

For the past two years, Del Castillo has toured extensively in the US and Europe, both as a headliner and in support of such diverse artists as Styx, Los Lonely Boys, B.B. King, Don Henley, Buddy Guy, Los Lobos, Bela Fleck and Willie Nelson. They’ve performed at three of Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnics and Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival. Other US and international venues they’ve played include the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland; California WorldFest; Austin City Limits Festival; Strawberry Music Festival; Tropical Heatwave Festival; Vancouver Folk Festival; Wendelstein Festival; Jazzfest Gronau and Bergen Fest (Norway). They’ve also performed on BBC Radio in London and Scotland.

Acclaimed film director Robert Rodriguez became a big fan of the band after attending one of their shows in 2002 and has featured their music in such films of his as Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, Grindhouse and Spy Kids 3-D, even enlisting the group to perform with him at the premieres.  Del Castillo recently performed a beautiful, unique song with Carlos Santana, Willie Nelson and Los Lonely Boys on a CD benefitting The Hermes Music Foundation. The song, “Claro Que Suede” (“Yes We Can”) is featured on their website,


Pick this one up and pop it in, you’ll become an instant fan. The music these guys create has a passion and energy that transcends any language barriers, cultural stereotypes, or genre, which has resulted in Del Castillo becoming international touring stars. One listen and it’s not hard to see why.



The Dirty Lowdown

Copyright © 2012 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

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